Charles-Antoine Cesari, Filitosa’s father…
In 1946, Charles-Antoine Cesari, originally from the village of Cozzano in the upper Taravo, exploited an estate of about 50 hectares in Filitosa (lower part of the Taravo valley). The place has always fascinated him. In the heart of the hilly terrain stands a natural spur, crossed by the Sardelle stream and planted in the heart of a forest of oaks and olive trees.
Very quickly as he clears the ground at the foot of the hill, he uncovers, scattered here and there, imposing blocks of granite. This discovery seized him, fascinated him. With the help of his workers, he decides to lift the grey stones and finds himself face to face with what he will later call “the stone man”. One of his workers suggested tying up these “old stones” to make stakes that would protect the estate. Staring at these silhouettes from another age, Charles-Antoine Cesari exclaimed in a deep voice:
“I’ve never put a chain around a man’s neck,
I’m not gonna start doing it with a man of stone.”
The information reaches Pierre Lamotte, then director of the Departmental Archives of Corsica. He was the first to really look into the discovery, as the prehistoric interest of the region had never been considered until then.
Especially since a century earlier, in 1839, Prosper Mérimée had indeed been entrusted by the government with a mission in Corsica. In his capacity as Inspector of Historic Monuments, he had been sent from Paris and rode on a donkey through the island in order to draw up an archaeological inventory. But of Filitosa and its fortified spur, not a word. Without knowing it, he will pass by what will become the main archaeological discovery of Corsica.
This anecdote did not argue in favour of the discovery of Charles-Antoine Cesari. But thanks to his intuition, his obstinacy and an unshakeable faith, everything was going to accelerate. From ignorance, we were going to move from ignorance to recognition, through the magic of a decisive encounter, which would become an unfailing and reciprocal friendship.